CPSC Files Lawsuit Against Daisy Manufacturing Co. To Recall Two Models of Daisy's Powerline Airguns Due to Defects

WASHINGTON, D.C.- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) today filed an administrative lawsuit against the Daisy Manufacturing Co. (Daisy), doing business as Daisy Outdoor Products, of Rogers, Ark., seeking a recall of 7.5 million Powerline Airguns. The lawsuit seeks to compel Daisy to notify consumers that the model 880 and model 856 Powerline Airguns are defective, and present a substantial risk of death or injury to anyone using the airgun. Daisy has refused to voluntarily recall these BB guns, which have been sold since September 1972 in sporting goods, department, and hardware stores, as well as on the Internet.

CPSC's staff has learned of at least 15 deaths and 171 serious injuries that have been attributed to alleged design and manufacturing defects in Daisy's Powerline Airguns. About eighty percent of those who have been killed or injured by the airguns were children under the age of 16. Children have been killed after being shot in the head or chest. Other children have been seriously injured after BBs punctured the heart, spinal cord, or skull, causing paralysis and brain damage.

CPSC began an investigation in May 2000 following reports that Daisy had made changes to the model 856 Powerline Airgun in order to correct potential design defects. The lawsuit filed by CPSC staff alleges that Daisy's Powerline Airguns are still defective because BBs can become lodged in the magazine of the airguns, even though the airgun can appear empty. It is foreseeable that a child, believing the BB gun is empty, could play with Daisy's Powerline Airgun in an unsafe manner. The stuck BB can then become dislodged, causing death or serious injury if fired in the direction of another person. CPSC staff believes that all 856 and 880 model airguns sold by Daisy have this defect.

The CPSC lawsuit also contends that Daisy's Powerline Airguns' failure to incorporate an automatic safety system makes the BB guns defective. Daisy's Powerline Airguns currently have a manual safety button on them.

One of the many tragic incidents that CPSC learned about involved John "Tucker" Mahoney, of New Hope, Pa. On May 24, 1999, Tucker and his friend were shooting a model 856 Powerline, two days after he had received the airgun as a gift for his 16th birthday. CPSC staff contends that as a result of a defect within the airgun, a BB remained lodged inside of the airgun's magazine, unbeknownst to Tucker or his friend. Believing the airgun was unloaded, Tucker's friend pointed and fired the airgun at close range. The hidden BB became dislodged, chambered, and struck Tucker in the head. Tucker was severely injured and is now in a near vegetative state. In February 2001, Daisy settled Tucker's product liability lawsuit for approximately $18 million dollars.

CPSC staff believes that it would cost $2 per airgun to correct the defect that causes BBs to become lodged in the loading mechanism and to put an automatic safety device on the airgun.

CPSC staff filed the lawsuit against Daisy under Section 15 of the Consumer Product Safety Act and Section 15 of the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. The administrative complaint does not seek a ban on all airguns or all Daisy airguns. The complaint seeks a recall of these two models of airguns which staff believes are defective.

CPSC's case will be heard by an administrative law judge.

October 30, 2001
CPSC Contact: Scott Wolfson
(301) 504-0580 Ext. 1189